We’re living in a mobile-first world. The proof is in the data, aggregated by Smart Insights. Its 2015 report spoke to the increasing significance of mobile devices in business, commerce and lifestyle, demonstrating a clear need for businesses to increase their emphasis on this booming platform. Some of the most easily seen components of their findings are:
- Globally, mobile users have exceeded desktop users for the first time.
- Adults spend 2.8 hours every day using mobile devices, compared to just 2.4 hours on desktops and laptops.
- Amazon, one of the world’s largest online retailers, experienced 87 percent growth in its mobile audience while the number of desktop users remained flat.
Clearly, there is a distinct opportunity to be had in meeting prospective customers where they’re already going—mobile sites and applications. To make the best of it, you’ve got to optimize the experience of mobile users.
Five tips your organization can use to succeed
- Reduce and simplify navigation: When it comes to enhancing mobile UX, take the physical limitations of the devices—smaller screens and high sensitivity to touch—into account. A mobile site or app with lots of text means users will end up scrolling too much, breaking their concentration. If there are lots of field forms to input data, users will have to spend excessive amounts of time pulling up their keyboards and carefully entering information, slowing down and frustrating users. Simplifying your site can increase users’ willingness to stay on your page and lead to a higher likelihood of conversion.
- Delight the user with animation: While simplicity is important, look for opportunities to add minor details that can increase a user’s satisfaction. Animation is a subtle addition that creates a positive UX without inundating users with superfluous content. Animated introductory orientations, for example, can highlight the directions or processes for using the site. Screen transitions are also helpful so users can see changes occurring as they navigate, showing a responsive interface.
- Incorporate analytics for stakeholders: Stakeholders investing in UX for mobile want concrete evidence to support their decision. To provide transparency and grant stakeholders more control over their investment, build an analytics page into the back-end. These analytics provide tangible evidence on how specific aspects of your site or application are impacting user experience, which you can use to make further improvements.
- Synergize your mobile channel to add value: Since mobile is one marketing channel among several for your business, your mobile strategy should be in sync with your other channels: website, social media, email and anything else. You can add value across channels by creating synergy between them.Nike’s mobile app, for instance, allows users to track their workouts. Meanwhile, that data is aggregated on the desktop version of the website for long-term monitoring. Users also have the ability to share their data—via mobile or desktop—on social media to compare and compete with other users. Without adding unnecessary content on its mobile application, Nike was still able to drive more attention to its website, and increase user engagement simultaneously.
- Monetize your content: At the end of the day, every business is concerned about one thing—the bottom line. Optimizing the UX of your mobile site or application is a means to that end. There’s a lot of potential for generating revenue from your mobile app or site, as long as you tread carefully.Selling ad space is one way to monetize your mobile strategy, but due to the screen sizes of mobile devices, ads can end up getting in the way.Another option is offering trial experiences so users can sample additional benefits for a period of time. Pandora, the streaming music application, offers users a free trial of its upgraded service, which features ad-free listening and unlimited song skipping. Design your app or site in a way that will encourage extra spending, and be generous with free trials.A word of caution about free trials—there is much debate about the efficacy of automatic enrollment following the conclusion of free trials. Charging users without notification can alienate customers and tarnish your brand image.